With its long and well-documented history, Prince Edward Island (PEI) makes a compelling case study for thousands of years of human interaction with a specific ecosystem. The pastoral landscapes, red sandstone cliffs, and small fishing villages of Canada's "garden province" are appealing because they appear timeless, but they are as culturally constructed as they are shaped by the ebb and flow of the tides.
Bringing together experts from a multitude of disciplines, the essays in Time and a Place explore the island's marine and terrestrial environment from its prehistory to its recent past. Beginning with PEI's history as a blank slate – a land scraped by ice and then surrounded by rising seas – this mosaic of essays documents the arrival of flora, fauna, and humans, and the different ways these inhabitants have lived in this place over time. The collection offers policy insights for the province while also informing broader questions about the value of islands and other geographically bounded spaces for the study of environmental history and the crafting of global sustainability.
Putting PEI at the forefront of Canadian environmental history, Time and a Place is a remarkable accomplishment that will be eagerly received and read by historians, geographers, scholars of Canadian and island studies, and environmentalists.
"The chapters complement and build on each other, giving a surprisingly comprehensive view of PEI environmental history over the longue durée. Time and a Place will undoubtedly put PEI on the map of Canadian environmental history, and will be used as a model for other regions that as yet have nothing of the kind to compare with it."
– Matthew Hatvany, Université Laval
Figures and Tables xi
Introduction: Promise and Premise: An Environmental History for Prince Edward Island 3
Edward MacDonald, Joshua MacFadyen, and Irené Novaczek
I IMAGINING ISLANDS: ISLANDS AND ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY
1 Muddying the Waters of Environmental History: Islands as Ecotones 19
John R. Gillis
2 Museums, Laboratories, Showcases: Prince Edward and Other Islands in Environmental History 36
II SHAPING ABEGWEIT: PEOPLE AND ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY
3 The Palaeo-Environment and the Peopling of Prince Edward Island: An Archaeological Perspective 59
David Keenlyside and Helen Kristmanson
4 The Forests of Prince Edward Island, 1720-1900 82
5 Wildlife Matters: A Historical Overview of Public Consciousness of Habitat and Wildlife Loss on Prince Edward Island 109
6 The Mermaid’s Tresses: Seaplants in the Culture and Economy of Prince Edward Island 140
III HARVESTING LAND AND SEA: DEVELOPMENT AND THE ENVIRONMENT ON PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
7 The Fertile Crescent: Agricultural Land Use on Prince Edward Island, 1861-1971 161
8 Agriculture and the Environment on Prince Edward Island, 1969-2014: An Uneasy Relationship 195
9 Lines in the Water: Time and Place in a Fishery 218
Edward MacDonald and Boyde Beck
10 The Landscapes of Tourism: Scenic Images in Prince Edward Island Tourism Literature 246
11 Two Centuries of Energy on Prince Edward Island 264
Epilogue: Lessons of Time, Place, and an Island 288
Appendix: Laying Down the Laws: Environment-Related Legislation on Prince Edward Island, 1770-1970 301
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Edward MacDonald is associate professor of Canadian and Prince Edward Island history at the University of Prince Edward Island. Joshua MacFadyen is assistant professor of environmental humanities at Arizona State University. Irené Novaczek is the former